In the 2018 shooting death of a father who was camping with his young daughters and the attempted murders of the two young girls, both at a well-known state park in the Malibu area of Southern California, a Los Angeles jury on Friday found a man guilty of second-degree murder.
Suspect Anthony Rauda was charged in connection with it as one of a string of unexplained gunshots and break-ins that occurred in the neighborhood beginning in 2016.
The jury determined that on June 22, 2018, in Malibu Creek State Park, roughly 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, Rauda, 46, fatally shot Tristan Beaudette in the head as the 35-year-old father and chemist from Irvine were sleeping in a tent with his children.
Despite the fact that the jury also found Rauda guilty of one count of attempted murder for firing at a car four days before Beaudette was killed, he was acquitted of seven other counts of similar charges.
But the jury did convict him on all five of the burglary charges he was up against.
The discovery of the other mystery shootings at the time, together with Beaudette’s murder, shook the neighborhood and caused the state park to be closed for almost a year. Campers could return there starting in May 2019.
The jury found Rauda guilty of the second-degree crime despite finding him not guilty of first-degree murder. He will be sentenced next month and might receive a sentence of 40 years to life.
The prosecution must establish intention and premeditation in order to secure a conviction for first-degree murder. Murder in the second degree does not.
The tweet below confirms the news:
A Los Angeles jury found a man guilty of second-degree murder in the 2018 shooting death of a father who was camping with his young daughters — and of the attempted murders of the two young girls — all in the Malibu area of Southern California. https://t.co/UEvcwLUElq
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 27, 2023
Jury Finds Rauda Guilty of Attempted Murder
Although they were unharmed, Beaudette’s kids, who were 2 and 4 at the time, were thought to be the victims of attempted murder. The jury found Rauda guilty of the girls’ attempted murder charges, but they did not find Rauda guilty of premeditated or wilful murder.
Rauda missed Friday’s verdict because he had renounced his right to be present in court. The prosecution chose not to comment on the result.
After the verdict, Rauda’s attorney, Nicholas C. Okorocha, expressed appreciation for the jury’s apparent caution. “The jury did a good job of exercising caution and attention to detail.”
Prior to Rauda’s arrest and during the investigation into Beaudette’s shooting murder, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department found that the neighborhood had been the scene of at least seven other unsolved shootings since November 2016.
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Nearly four months after Beaudette’s murder, on October 10, 2018, Rauda was apprehended in a canyon close to the park while toting a gun in his bag. He was initially arrested in connection with a number of burglaries in the region before being charged with Beaudette’s murder and the other killings. Sheriff’s authorities described him as a “survivalist” who lived outdoors.
Having already been convicted of a felony, Rauda was sentenced to state prison for both possessing explosives and later a loaded firearm. At the time of his detention, according to the authorities, he was on probation.
Wildfires have left a large portion of Malibu Creek State Park, which has been used as a set for films and television programs including “M.A.S.H.,” burnt.
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